Broken middle and lower vertebrae, both shoulder blades, both collarbones, ribs, ankle, cheekbones, wrist, ankle and leg plus a dislocated thumb and chipped teeth…A.P McCoy’s extraordinary career and injury list

Tony McCoy

Tony McCoy

Tony McCoy

Tony McCoy

Tony McCoy has enjoyed one of the most extraordinary careers in jump racing. Here’s a snapshot.

Father: Peadar McCoy, bred County Hurdle winner Thumbs Up.

Apprenticeship: Four years with Jim Bolger – rode work on horses such as Irish Derby winner St Jovite and Oaks winner Jet Ski Lady.

First winner: Legal Steps at Thurles on March 26, 1992.

Joined Toby Balding at start of 1994-5 season after riding 13 winners (six on the Flat) in Ireland.

Joins Martin Pipe in 1996 – an association which lasted eight years.

Appointed retained rider for millionaire owner, JP McManus, at the end of the 2003-04 campaign.

First winner in Britain: Chickabiddy at Exeter on September 7, 1994.

Champion conditional jockey: 1994-5 with 74 winners – at the time a record for the number of wins by a conditional jockey (he finished seventh in the full jockeys' championship).
Lost right to claim when won on Romany Creek at Nottingham on February 28, 1995.

Beat Sir Gordon Richards' all-time record total of 269 winners in a season on Valfonic at Warwick on April 2, 2002.

Became all-time winning-most jumps jockey, beating Richard Dunwoody's record of 1,699, when winning on Mighty Montefalco at Uttoxeter on August 27, 2002.

Champion jockey: 1995-6, 1996-7, 1997-8, 1998-9, 1999-2000, 2000-1, 2001-2, 2002-3, 2003-4, 2004-5, 2005-6, 2006-7, 2007-8, 2008-9, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14

Best season: 289 winners in 2001-2

1,000th winner: Majadou, Cheltenham, December 11, 1999.

1,500th winner: Celtic Native, Exeter, December, 2001.

1,700th winner (new record): Mighty Montefalco, Uttoxeter, August 27, 2002.

Awarded MBE in 2003.

2,000th winner: Magical Bailiwick, Wincanton, January 17, 2004.

3,000th winner over jumps in Britain and Ireland: Restless D'Artaix, Plumpton, February 9, 2009.

4,000th winner over jumps in Britain and Ireland: Mountain Tunes, Towcester, November 7, 2013.

4,192nd winner over jumps in Britain and Ireland: It's A Gimme, Market Rasen, July 19, 2014. This took him past his old ally Martin Pipe's career total of winners.

Champion Hurdle winners: Make A Stand 1997, Brave Inca 2006, Binocular 2010.

Cheltenham Gold Cup winner: Mr Mulligan 1997, Synchronised 2012

Champion Chase winner: Edredon Bleu 2000.

King George VI Chase winner: Best Mate 2002.

Grand National winner: Don't Push It 2010.

Rode 150th winner at Cheltenham on Hills Of Aran January 1, 2008.

Awarded an OBE in June 2010.

Named BBC Sports Personality of the Year in December 2010.

McCoy’s riding injuries have included: broken middle and lower vertebrae, both shoulder blades, both collarbones, ribs, ankle, cheekbones, wrist, ankle and leg plus a dislocated thumb and chipped teeth.

 

Champion jockey Tony McCoy to quit racing at end of season

Tony McCoy

Tony McCoy

Tony McCoy today announced he is to retire from racing at the end of the season.

Just minutes after Mr Mole gave McCoy his 200th winner of the season as Sire De Grugy unseated three out in an incident-packed Betfair Price Rush Chase at Newbury. the champion jockey told Channel 4 Racing of his intention to stop riding.

Not seen since following up his Champion Chase success at Sandown last April, the Gary Moore-trained Sire De Grugy was sent off at odds-on but made a bad mistake four from home before parting company with Jamie Moore at the next.

That left a simple task for Mr Mole, who will test his credentials at the top level in the two-mile championship next month.

All that was overshadowed, however, when McCoy revealed his retirement plan.

"It's going to be the last time I ride 200 winners," he said.

"Having spoken to Dave (Roberts, agent) and JP McManus, I am going to be retiring at the end of the season."

Career of a racing legend

:: McCoy started working with horses at the age of 13, working full-time from leaving school at 15. His weight rocketed after some time off with a broken leg following a fall whilst employed at Jim Bolger's and this was the deciding factor which drove McCoy from Flat to jumps racing.

: :: McCoy's riding injuries have included: broken middle and lower vertebrae, both shoulder blades, both collarbones, ribs, ankle, cheekbones, wrist, ankle and leg plus a dislocated thumb and chipped teeth.

:: It took McCoy 15 attempts before sealing an elusive first victory in the Grand National aboard the gambled-on Don't Push It in 2010. Bookmakers recorded a loss of around #50million on the race.

:: McCoy has been the retained jockey for owner JP McManus for 10 years.

:: In 2003 McCoy was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours and an OBE in 2010.

:: He became BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2010, beating Phil Taylor and Jessica Ennis-Hill to the coveted trophy. It was the first time a jockey had been awarded the honour.

:: His first novel, 'Taking the Fall' was published in November 2013 by Orion. Its central character is Duncan Claymore, a super-talented conditional jockey who is nonetheless struggling. 

:: AP spends 2 – 2.5 hours, six days a week sweating in the bath or sauna (equivalent of 1.3 years of his life). On average AP sweats 2-4Ib per session.

:: McCoy was crowned champion conditional jockey at 21 after riding 74 winners in the 1994/1995 season, when attached to the yard of trainer Toby Balding.

:: McCoy has been crowned champion jockey 19 times.

:: McCoy was 17 when riding his first winner, Legal Steps, to victory for Jim Bolger at Thurles in 1992.

:: McCoy rode his first winner in England aboard the Gordon Edwards-trained Chickabiddy at Exeter on September 7, 1994.

:: McCoy has won two Cheltenham Gold Cups, the first aboard Mr Mulligan in 1997 and the second on Synchronised in 2012.

:: McCoy's riding weight can get as low as 10st 3lb, although he feels his natural body weight is around 12st.
ends

England beat Wales in 6 Nations opener

Mike Brown leads England victory celebrations in Cardiff

Mike Brown leads England victory celebrations in Cardiff

WALES: 16 ENGLAND: 21

England's World Cup year gained lift-off at the Millennium Stadium as they launched their RBS 6 Nations campaign by recording a stirring victory over Wales.

Unlike in 2013 on their last Cardiff visit when England were humiliated by a record 27-point margin, this time Chris Robshaw's men delivered when it mattered.

Despite falling 10 points behind early on to a Rhys Webb try, plus a Leigh Halfpenny conversion and penalty, England built on some mighty work by their forwards as Bath backs and Six Nations debutants Anthony Watson and Jonathan Joseph both claimed touchdowns.

Fly-half George Ford added three penalties and a conversion – his second strike after Wales wing Alex Cuthbert had been sin-binned – while Wales failed to score in the second period after another Halfpenny penalty and a Dan Biggar drop-goal had given them what appeared to be a solid advantage.

The teams meet again in a crunch World Cup pool game at Twickenham on September 26, and England struck a psychological blow by outmuscling Wales up-front as flanker James Haskell, number eight Billy Vunipola and prop Dan Cole all produced five-star performances.

It was arguably the most notable and important win of Stuart Lancaster's coaching reign, especially given the number of players he lost beforehand through injury, with England now set up for a major tilt at Six Nations silverware.

Wales, though, will need to take a long hard look at themselves ahead of what promises to be a testing encounter against Scotland at Murrayfield on Sunday week.

After the match, it emerged that captain Chris Robshaw responded to Welsh mind games in the tunnel moments before kick-off as he held back his players from running out at the Millennium Stadium until the last possible moment.

Stuart Lancaster's men had been told to run out on to the pitch but with Wales still in their changing room, they knew they would be kept waiting on a bitterly cold night at the Millennium Stadium.

In scenes that evoked memories of Martin Johnson's refusal to move his England team at Ireland's request as they lined up before completing a Grand Slam in Dublin 12 years ago, Robshaw told his players to remain in the tunnel.

"We wanted to have a bit of control. We didn't want to be out there. You saw when we actually were out there the lights were off," Robshaw said.

"I'm sure Wales would have made us wait for five minutes in the field. There was a little bit of that, but we stood our ground and went out when the referee said we needed to.

"We just didn't want to go out on to the pitch 10 minutes before they came out, it's as simple as that

"We didn't want to play any tricks or mind games, we just wanted to go out when they did.

"The referee didn't make us go out. We didn't want to wait and play sportsman's tricks, so we waited in the changing room and then in the tunnel together for as long as possible.

"When the referee said it was time to go, we went. He came out with us. We weren't going to be told to go out 10 or 15 minutes before they came out."

England beat Wales in 6 Nations opener

Mike Brown leads England victory celebrations in Cardiff

Mike Brown leads England victory celebrations in Cardiff

WALES: 16 ENGLAND: 21

England's World Cup year gained lift-off at the Millennium Stadium as they launched their RBS 6 Nations campaign by recording a stirring victory over Wales.

Unlike in 2013 on their last Cardiff visit when England were humiliated by a record 27-point margin, this time Chris Robshaw's men delivered when it mattered.

Despite falling 10 points behind early on to a Rhys Webb try, plus a Leigh Halfpenny conversion and penalty, England built on some mighty work by their forwards as Bath backs and Six Nations debutants Anthony Watson and Jonathan Joseph both claimed touchdowns.

Fly-half George Ford added three penalties and a conversion – his second strike after Wales wing Alex Cuthbert had been sin-binned – while Wales failed to score in the second period after another Halfpenny penalty and a Dan Biggar drop-goal had given them what appeared to be a solid advantage.

The teams meet again in a crunch World Cup pool game at Twickenham on September 26, and England struck a psychological blow by outmuscling Wales up-front as flanker James Haskell, number eight Billy Vunipola and prop Dan Cole all produced five-star performances.

It was arguably the most notable and important win of Stuart Lancaster's coaching reign, especially given the number of players he lost beforehand through injury, with England now set up for a major tilt at Six Nations silverware.

Wales, though, will need to take a long hard look at themselves ahead of what promises to be a testing encounter against Scotland at Murrayfield on Sunday week.

After the match, it emerged that captain Chris Robshaw responded to Welsh mind games in the tunnel moments before kick-off as he held back his players from running out at the Millennium Stadium until the last possible moment.

Stuart Lancaster's men had been told to run out on to the pitch but with Wales still in their changing room, they knew they would be kept waiting on a bitterly cold night at the Millennium Stadium.

In scenes that evoked memories of Martin Johnson's refusal to move his England team at Ireland's request as they lined up before completing a Grand Slam in Dublin 12 years ago, Robshaw told his players to remain in the tunnel.

"We wanted to have a bit of control. We didn't want to be out there. You saw when we actually were out there the lights were off," Robshaw said.

"I'm sure Wales would have made us wait for five minutes in the field. There was a little bit of that, but we stood our ground and went out when the referee said we needed to.

"We just didn't want to go out on to the pitch 10 minutes before they came out, it's as simple as that

"We didn't want to play any tricks or mind games, we just wanted to go out when they did.

"The referee didn't make us go out. We didn't want to wait and play sportsman's tricks, so we waited in the changing room and then in the tunnel together for as long as possible.

"When the referee said it was time to go, we went. He came out with us. We weren't going to be told to go out 10 or 15 minutes before they came out."

A Feast of four Grade 1s including the Hennessy Gold Cup this Sunday

Boston Bob will be at Leopardstown this weekend

Boston Bob will be at Leopardstown this weekend

Leopardstown will host four Grade 1 races with prize money of half a million this Sunday on Hennessy Gold Cup Day, one of the highlights of the national hunt season in Ireland.

Only two weeks ago, Champion trainer Willie Mullins created a piece of history at Leopardstown with Hurricane Fly and now he will bid for a potential 10th win of the Hennessy Gold Cup, a record which is unprecedented and unparalleled.   He will run both Boston Bob and On His Own in the €150,000 contest while First Lieutenant, trained by Mouse Morris, flies the flag for Gigginstown House Stud. 

Recent Leopardstown winner Foxrock will take his chances as will John Kiely’s Carlingford Lough.  Jim Culloty will run last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Lord Windermere.  Noel Meade will run Texas Jack, while Henry de Bromhead’s Home Farm completes the declared field of eight runners. 

The €85,000 Grade 1 Flogas Novice Chase, formerly run as the Dr. P.J. Moriarty Novice Chase, has a field of nine contestants and looks to be a cracker.  Again, Willie Mullins looks to have a strong hand with three entries including Valseur Lido and Jarry D’Honneur, the recent Punchestown winner and Adriana Des Mottes, a Fairyhouse winner last November.  Another notable entry is Le Vent D’Antan, a Christmas Festival Winner for Liz Doyle.

A total of 9 horses will run in  the €90,000 Grade 1 Deloitte Novice Hurdle headed by the recent Naas Grade 1 winner Mckinley and Mullins’ Alvisio Ville, who impressed at the Leopardstown Christmas festival.  Dermot Weld will be represented by Silver Concorde and Windsor Park.

A field of eight horses will compete for the €85,000 Grade 1 Gala Retail Spring Juvenile Hurdle. Noel Meade’s Officieux made all the running to win at Fairyhouse last time while Chatham House Rule scored in good style for Gordon Elliott at Punchestown on New Year’s Eve.  Elliott also has his Limerick winner Vercingetorix in the race and Willie Mullins has two horses running with Kalkir and Petite Parisienne. 

Ireland name team for 6 Nations opener

Sean O'Brien fit for Ireland

Sean O’Brien fit for Ireland

Sean O’Brien will start Ireland’s RBS 6 Nations opener in Rome – just eight days after his first action in five months.

The combative British and Irish Lions flanker will play his first Test since November 2013 against Italy on Saturday, to offset the absence of Jamie Heaslip.

Vice-captain Heaslip misses out through shoulder trouble, so O'Brien's experience will ease the pressure on four-cap number eight Jordi Murphy – a Six Nations debutant.

Munster's Ian Keatley has held off the challenge of Ian Madigan to start at fly-half, the 27-year-old taking his Six Nations bow in what will be his fourth cap.

Leinster flanker O'Brien featured in Ireland Wolfhounds' 18-9 defeat to England Saxons in Cork on January 30, ending 14 months battling two shoulder reconstructions.

Now the 30-cap loose forward can reignite his Test career that has stalled since he first damaged his shoulder in Ireland's 24-22 New Zealand defeat in the autumn of 2013.

Leinster's hugely talented back-rower Murphy slots in for Heaslip, with Ireland keen not to risk one of their most experienced stars as he recovers from a shoulder niggle.

Ulster's Jared Payne partners Connacht battering ram Robbie Henshaw in the centres, with Ireland boss Joe Schmidt confirming the duo as his first-choice midfield pairing for the first time.

Payne and Henshaw worked in tandem in the autumn, but Gordon D'Arcy's injury absence allowed Ireland to defer the decision on the long-term replacement for the now-retired Brian O'Driscoll.

Henshaw has long been pencilled in as record caps holder O'Driscoll's successor, but could now ultimately end up replacing D'Arcy in Schmidt's greater scheme.

New Zealand-born Payne has featured at full-back most regularly for Ulster this term, but will pick up where he left off from Ireland's autumn at outside centre.

Veteran midfielder D'Arcy's omission from the entire match squad indicates the size of the task facing the 34-year-old to force his way back into contention.

Stalwart front-rower Mike Ross starts at tighthead despite lagging behind Marty Moore in Leinster's pecking order in recent weeks.

The 35-year-old remains Ireland's only ever-present selection under Kiwi boss Schmidt.

Ross fended off a month of groin trouble to feature in all three autumn Tests, and continues to remain one of Schmidt's most trusted lieutenants.

Ireland team to face Italy at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday (kick-off 1430GMT): R Kearney (Leinster), T Bowe, J Payne (both Ulster), R Henshaw (Connacht), S Zebo, I Keatley, C Murray (all Munster), J McGrath (Leinster), R Best (Ulster), M Ross, D Toner (both Leinster), P O'Connell (capt), P O'Mahony (both Munster), S O'Brien, J Murphy (both Leinster).

Replacements: S Cronin (Leinster), J Cronin (Munster), M Moore (Leinster), I Henderson (Ulster), T O'Donnell (Munster), I Boss, I Madigan (both Leinster), F Jones (Munster).

Ireland name team for 6 Nations opener

Sean O'Brien fit for Ireland

Sean O’Brien fit for Ireland

Sean O’Brien will start Ireland’s RBS 6 Nations opener in Rome – just eight days after his first action in five months.

The combative British and Irish Lions flanker will play his first Test since November 2013 against Italy on Saturday, to offset the absence of Jamie Heaslip.

Vice-captain Heaslip misses out through shoulder trouble, so O'Brien's experience will ease the pressure on four-cap number eight Jordi Murphy – a Six Nations debutant.

Munster's Ian Keatley has held off the challenge of Ian Madigan to start at fly-half, the 27-year-old taking his Six Nations bow in what will be his fourth cap.

Leinster flanker O'Brien featured in Ireland Wolfhounds' 18-9 defeat to England Saxons in Cork on January 30, ending 14 months battling two shoulder reconstructions.

Now the 30-cap loose forward can reignite his Test career that has stalled since he first damaged his shoulder in Ireland's 24-22 New Zealand defeat in the autumn of 2013.

Leinster's hugely talented back-rower Murphy slots in for Heaslip, with Ireland keen not to risk one of their most experienced stars as he recovers from a shoulder niggle.

Ulster's Jared Payne partners Connacht battering ram Robbie Henshaw in the centres, with Ireland boss Joe Schmidt confirming the duo as his first-choice midfield pairing for the first time.

Payne and Henshaw worked in tandem in the autumn, but Gordon D'Arcy's injury absence allowed Ireland to defer the decision on the long-term replacement for the now-retired Brian O'Driscoll.

Henshaw has long been pencilled in as record caps holder O'Driscoll's successor, but could now ultimately end up replacing D'Arcy in Schmidt's greater scheme.

New Zealand-born Payne has featured at full-back most regularly for Ulster this term, but will pick up where he left off from Ireland's autumn at outside centre.

Veteran midfielder D'Arcy's omission from the entire match squad indicates the size of the task facing the 34-year-old to force his way back into contention.

Stalwart front-rower Mike Ross starts at tighthead despite lagging behind Marty Moore in Leinster's pecking order in recent weeks.

The 35-year-old remains Ireland's only ever-present selection under Kiwi boss Schmidt.

Ross fended off a month of groin trouble to feature in all three autumn Tests, and continues to remain one of Schmidt's most trusted lieutenants.

Ireland team to face Italy at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday (kick-off 1430GMT): R Kearney (Leinster), T Bowe, J Payne (both Ulster), R Henshaw (Connacht), S Zebo, I Keatley, C Murray (all Munster), J McGrath (Leinster), R Best (Ulster), M Ross, D Toner (both Leinster), P O'Connell (capt), P O'Mahony (both Munster), S O'Brien, J Murphy (both Leinster).

Replacements: S Cronin (Leinster), J Cronin (Munster), M Moore (Leinster), I Henderson (Ulster), T O'Donnell (Munster), I Boss, I Madigan (both Leinster), F Jones (Munster).